Max Payne

Action 2001 Windows Gathering of Developers Shooter 3D action adventure Shooter action

Journey Into The Night

I originally played Max Payne 2, which was impressive enough to make me want more. So I went back in time and played the original. This is one of the most interesting games to have ever come out, not just from its time. The way the story is narrated, in hand drawn comic book panels, with a grim narration from the game's main protagonist, explaining everything he was doing and about to do, was a welcome change to the “go here” missions where other people tell you what to do. It really gave Max some character and personality. The use of metaphor and melodrama is also a welcome change, compared to the super muscled unfeeling linebackers featured in most shooters. Max is incredibly mortal, and the player is continually reminded of this by the fact that he doesn't instantly recover from bullet wounds. The trauma of reliving the death of Max's wife and daughter is something other games don't dare do. Of course, what was probably the most defining feature of the games is the use of “bullet time” to slow down events so Max can carry out some trick shots while diving over or into a covered position. Fans of shooters, or even gritty noir detective literature, should enjoy this title. It's different, and there's nothing else that dares to be as different.

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